Dereham History & Bishop Bonner's Cottage Museum

Dereham History & Bishop Bonner's Cottage Museum Dereham History, Norfolk, Uk. This site is run by the Dereham Heritage Trust, formerly the Dereham Antiquarian Society, who manages Bishop Bonner’s Cottage Museum, next to the parish church.
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From academic beginnings in 1953, the Dereham Antiquarian Society is now a friendly group of people who have a shared interest in the history of Dereham and the surrounding areas. Society members act as volunteer stewards in the Museum and manage the archive collection. Registered Educational Charity (No.293648) The Society incorporates the Cowper Society of Dereham. There is traditionally a William Cowper evening, around the anniversary of the poet’s death on 25th April 1800. The Arcadian Club, which studies the life and works of the local antiquarian Dr Augustus Jessopp, has also been incorporated into the Dereham Antiquarian Society.

Mission: Registered Educational Charity (No.293648)

Operating as usual

24/12/2020

Christmas Day 1796. Parson James Woodforde, Rector of Weston Longville, writes his diary.
"This Day the coldest we have had yet and Frost more severe. It froze all the Day long and within Doors, the last Night intensely cold. Mr Corbould [Woodforde’s curate] read Prayers & administered the H Sacrament this Morning at Weston Church. He called on us as he went and also on his return from Church. He said the cold at Church was so great as to make him tremble again. We did not go, the Weather being so severe. This being Christmas Day, the following People had their dinner at my House, Widow Case, old Thos. Atterton, Christ. Dunnell, Edwd Howes, Robt Downing and my Clerk Thos. Thurston. Dinner to day, Surloin of Beef rosted, plumb Puddings and mince Pies. My Appetite this cold Weather very bad. The Cold pierces me thro’ almost on going to bed, cannot get to sleep for a long time. We however do not have our beds warmed. Gave the People that dined here to day before they went, to each of them 1 Shilling… After they had dined they had some strong Beer."
From James Beresford (Ed), "The Diary of a Country Parson 1758-1802" (OUP, 1935).

Merry Christmas from all at the Dereham Heritage Trust and Bishop Bonner’s Cottage Museum. www.derehamhistory.com
24/12/2020

Merry Christmas from all at the Dereham Heritage Trust and Bishop Bonner’s Cottage Museum. www.derehamhistory.com

Garden FindsWhat have you found in your garden? I dug this up in my veg patch in Scarning this summer it looks like a ki...
22/12/2020

Garden Finds
What have you found in your garden?

I dug this up in my veg patch in Scarning this summer it looks like a kind of Tractor painted an army green. On the bottom is says LESNEY ENGLAND on Wikipedia it says - ‘Lesney Products & Co. Ltd. was a British manufacturing company responsible for the conception, manufacture, and distribution of die-cast toys under the "Matchbox" name. The company existed from 1947 until 1982.’
This model was made between 1955 and 1958 so it could have been in the garden for 65 years.

What have you found in your garden? Post a picture below to share with the group.

Sue Walker

Watch our new video talk on 'Maud’s Story – the life of a Norfolk Trading Wherry' then join our live question time with ...
14/12/2020

Watch our new video talk on 'Maud’s Story – the life of a Norfolk Trading Wherry' then join our live question time with her on Wednesday 13 January 2021 - more details on the poster below

View through a Victorian kaleidoscope in the collection of Dereham Heritage Trust. Little fragments of coloured glass an...
12/12/2020

View through a Victorian kaleidoscope in the collection of Dereham Heritage Trust. Little fragments of coloured glass and three mirrors work the magic

Dereham History & Bishop Bonner's Cottage Museum's cover photo
08/12/2020

Dereham History & Bishop Bonner's Cottage Museum's cover photo

Today's Eastern Daily Press has five pages on architect George Skipper and his work, and an interview with Richard Barne...
21/11/2020

Today's Eastern Daily Press has five pages on architect George Skipper and his work, and an interview with Richard Barnes, who has just published a book about him. Richard is giving our February talk about Skipper, who was born in Dereham and whose father was a builder here. Incidentally, "Skipper" is one of 12 names identified as having higher concentration in the Dereham area in the 1881 census than anywhere else in the country. This is featured in our December talk on surname mapping - see the separate post.

Our next Dereham Heritage Trust talk is available now, members will get the link in their newsletter in the next few day...
11/11/2020

Our next Dereham Heritage Trust talk is available now, members will get the link in their newsletter in the next few days. If you are not a member see the poster below for details of how to view it.

Remembrance Sunday 2020 - we will remember them
08/11/2020

Remembrance Sunday 2020 - we will remember them

The helmet was on display as part of our exhibition on the history of Hobbies of Dereham, as we have photographs of the ...
03/11/2020

The helmet was on display as part of our exhibition on the history of Hobbies of Dereham, as we have photographs of the fire in their factory in 1907 and later in 1915, showing firemen on the scene damping the fire down in 1907.

Fire helmet belonging to Captain Pett who served with the Dereham Fire Brigade. Captain Pett was a member from 1934 to 1959. His helmet and axe is on display at the Dereham Musuen inside Bishop Bonners Cottage in the town

Norfolk Fire Museum
03/11/2020

Norfolk Fire Museum

Fire at Dereham Maltings 7th December 1974. Shown is the museum’s turntable ladder at work. This is the first photo that we have seen showing the TL’s fwp in use.

Norfolk Fire Museum
03/11/2020

Norfolk Fire Museum

Stammers Flour Mill East Dereham after a large fire at the premise

For the rest of 2020, and probably to at least April 2021, we are arranging on-line talks for our members and visitors. ...
28/10/2020

For the rest of 2020, and probably to at least April 2021, we are arranging on-line talks for our members and visitors. The next talk on 'Dereham and its Vicar in Victorian Times' by Susanna Wade Martins is ready to view now, click on the poster below for details.

14/10/2020
St. Nicholas Church, Dereham

St. Nicholas Church, Dereham

William Cowper, poet, is buried in St Nicholas’ church (1800).His monument is in the north transept. He was encouraged by John Newton (writer of Amazing grace) to write anti-slave poetry.

THE NEGRO'S COMPLAINT
by William Cowper
FORCED from home and all its pleasures
Afric's coast I left forlorn,
To increase a stranger's treasures
O'er the raging billows borne.
Men from England bought and sold me,
Paid my price in paltry gold;
But, though slave they have enrolled me,
Minds are never to be sold.

Still in thought as free as ever,
What are England's rights, I ask,
Me from my delights to sever,
Me to torture, me to task ?
Fleecy locks and black complexion
Cannot forfeit nature's claim;
Skins may differ, but affection
Dwells in white and black the same.

Why did all-creating nature
Make the plant for which we toil?
Sighs must fan it, tears must water,
Sweat of ours must dress the soil.
Think, ye masters iron-hearted,
Lolling at your jovial boards,
Think how many backs have smarted
For the sweets your cane affords.

Is there, as ye sometimes tell us,
Is there One who reigns on high?
Has He bid you buy and sell us,
Speaking from his throne, the sky?
Ask him, if your knotted scourges,
Matches, blood-extorting screws,
Are the means that duty urges
Agents of his will to use?

Hark! He answers!--Wild tornadoes
Strewing yonder sea with wrecks,
Wasting towns, plantations, meadows,
Are the voice with which he speaks.
He, foreseeing what vexations
Afric's sons should undergo,
Fixed their tyrants' habitations
Where his whirlwinds answer--"No."

By our blood in Afric wasted
Ere our necks received the chain;
By the miseries that we tasted,
Crossing in your barks the main;
By our sufferings, since ye brought us
To the man-degrading mart,
All sustained by patience, taught us
Only by a broken heart;

Deem our nation brutes no longer,
Till some reason ye shall find
Worthier of regard and stronger
Than the colour of our kind.
Slaves of gold, whose sordid dealings
Tarnish all your boasted powers,
Prove that you have human feelings,
Ere you proudly question ours!

For Black History Month we have an article written by Trevor Ogden for Dereham Heritage Trust Newsletter a few months ag...
02/10/2020
The Black Lady of North Elmham

For Black History Month we have an article written by Trevor Ogden for Dereham Heritage Trust Newsletter a few months ago about black woman whose skeleton was found in the 10th century cathedral cemetery at North Elmham, mid-Norfolk, in Peter Wade-Martin's excavations in the 1970s. What was her story, and how might she have come to Norfolk so long ago. http://www.derehamhistory.com/black-history-month.html

The Black Lady of North Elmham

Another excellent photo of Etling Green folk in the mid C20.  This is Susanna Brunton (nee Lock) drawing water at an Etl...
22/07/2020

Another excellent photo of Etling Green folk in the mid C20. This is Susanna Brunton (nee Lock) drawing water at an Etling Green pump. A lovely picture shared with us by Anthony Nesbitt, her grandson. We always welcome the temporary loan of any of your precious photographs that tell the story of Dereham and surrounds. We always scan and return items very quickly and if you wish to donate any photos to us they will be kept for posterity in our museum archive and used in appropriate displays and exhibitions.

We pass our grateful thanks to Anthony Nesbitt for sharing his childhood memories of Etling Green.  This shows Anthony's...
21/07/2020

We pass our grateful thanks to Anthony Nesbitt for sharing his childhood memories of Etling Green. This shows Anthony's mother Florence Nesbitt (nee Brunton) along with Alan, Stephanice and David Myhill. Can anyone name the child for us please?

A great new online service
10/07/2020
Welcome & Menu - Unlocking The Archive

A great new online service

Historic Books. At Home. For Everyone. Discover historic book collections of Blickling Estate (National Trust), Norfolk Heritage Centre, and King's Lynn Public Library, and let them inspire your creativity today.

Today is the 75th anniversary of VE Day, commemorating the end of World War II in Europe. In the musums collection we ha...
08/05/2020

Today is the 75th anniversary of VE Day, commemorating the end of World War II in Europe. In the musums collection we have two sets of boots that saw action in WW2, those on the left are Army motorcycle despatch riders boots. The sheep skin lined boots on the right are RAF flying boots.

Our next talk that would have be on the 8th April has been cancelled.
12/03/2020

Our next talk that would have be on the 8th April has been cancelled.

05/03/2020
05/03/2020
Dereham Library
05/03/2020

Dereham Library

Find out more about Bishop Bonner's Cottage Museum when you next visit the library and see the foyer display of photographs and information about the museum. Dereham History & Bishop Bonner's Cottage Museum #norfolkhistory

Dereham Times
20/02/2020
Dereham Times

Dereham Times

Fingers crossed it can be sorted this time🤞

More information on our next talk on 11th March, click on the image for the full poster
15/02/2020

More information on our next talk on 11th March, click on the image for the full poster

Dereham Times
14/02/2020

Dereham Times

Do you remember this lovely lady? Thelma Bond, left, former proprietor of Bonds Toy Shop in Dereham, passed away last month, aged 91. She is reunited with her sister, Cynthia, who died in 2014.
As Miss Bond was so well known around Dereham, we are putting together a tribute piece about her. If you would like to contribute, please share your memories of her here.

Two lovely ladies
14/02/2020
Dereham Times

Two lovely ladies

She and her sister were devoted to their toy shop, which generations of Dereham children will remember.

Dereham Times
11/02/2020

Dereham Times

It’s more than 25 years since Metamec, once the largest clockmakers in the country, disappeared from Dereham. At one time it had staff of over 700 and produced 25,000 clocks a week. Now our reporter, Donna-Louise Bishop, is taking a look back at its history and the people who worked there.

Do you have a story or memories to share from your time there? Email her at [email protected] or message below.

Our next talk is on 11th March see poster below
11/02/2020

Our next talk is on 11th March see poster below

Sad end for a 200 year old firm
05/02/2020
Dereham Times

Sad end for a 200 year old firm

Randell Agriculture's managing director said the decision had been taken with a "heavy heart" after October's blaze in Toftwood.

Sad news 😔

Dereham Times
25/01/2020
Dereham Times

Dereham Times

He’s taken some stunning photos over Norfolk... 📷

Address

Bishop Bonner's Cottage Museum, St Withburga Lane
Dereham
NR19 1ED

Opening Hours

Wednesday 13:30 - 16:00
Friday 11:00 - 14:00
Saturday 13:30 - 16:00

Telephone

01362695652

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From academic beginnings in 1953, the Dereham Heritage Trust, formerly the Dereham Antiquarian Society, is a friendly group of people who have a shared interest in the history of Dereham and the surrounding area. Society members act as volunteer stewards in the Museum and manage the new town archive centre. Registered Educational Charity (No.293648) The Trust incorporates the Cowper Society of Dereham. There is traditionally a William Cowper evening, around the anniversary of the poet’s death on 25th April 1800. The Arcadian Club, which studies the life and works of the local antiquarian Dr Augustus Jessopp, has also been incorporated into the Dereham Heritage Trust. Find out more on our website www.derehamhistory.com

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Hoping there shall be no objection to sharing this here, and putting the word out: #NIAS shall be hosting the East of England Regional Industrial Archaeological Conference, this year in Thetford. There shall be a visit to the Charles Burrell Museum (of Traction Engine fame) with talks in the morning on Thetford pulpware products from paper and jute, and on the firm of Burrell's itself. In the afternoon, there shall be a guided walk around the town centre of Thetford, ending with the Museum visit. Booking has passed but the event is still open. Please share. Message from the organisers: if you have not already booked in advance, then you are welcome to come along and pay at the door on the day. Cost £14 per person. If you have an interest in Industrial Archaeology and would like to join NIAS, members will be on hand to advise. Or, visit the NIAS website: www.norfolkia.org.uk
Having just started a new business to promote the area around Dereham, Attleborough, Thetford, Watton, Swaffham, Brandon, etc, I welcome all businesses in the area to join us. Primarily aimed at people visiting the area, I also want everyone to realise that someone visiting Attleborough from Swaffham is a visitor as well. I may well live near Dereham, but Thetford is a great place for me to visit as it has great museums, ruins, the biggest Motte in the country and an amazing forest nearby. If I'm looking for a proper greengrocer and florist, there's Starlings in Swaffham and, if I want a real book shop, there's Ceres in Swaffham too. Drop us an email for more information: [email protected] and Check out
It's all about Norfolk at our Quiz Night :-) and there are still a few spaces left!!! To book a table please give us a call Dereham Library 01362 693184 👍